Alfonso Cuarón in July 2013
|Born||Alfonso Cuarón Orozco
November 28, 1961
Mexico City, Mexico
|Alma mater||National Autonomous University of Mexico|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, producer, editor|
|Notable work||Children of Men
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
|Children||3, including Jonás Cuarón|
Alfonso Cuarón Orozco (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈfonso kwaˈɾon]; born November 28, 1961) is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer and editor, known for his dramas A Little Princess (1995) and Y Tu Mamá También (2001), fantasy film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and science fiction thrillers Children of Men (2006) and Gravity (2013). Cuarón is the first Mexican director to win an Oscar for Best Director.
Most of his work has been praised by both audiences and critics, and has been nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Original Screenplay for Y Tu Mamá También, and both Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing for Children of Men. For Gravity, Cuarón received several major accolades for his achievement in direction, winning in the respective categories at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the BAFTA Awards and the Directors Guild of America; and in addition winning the BAFTA Award Best British Film and the Academy Award for Best Film Editing (shared with Mark Sanger). He was also awarded the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language as producer of Pan's Labyrinth (2006).
Cuarón's brother Carlos, as well as his son Jonás, are also writers and directors and have both acted as co-writers in some of his works. He is also friends with fellow Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu, collectively known as "The Three Amigos of Cinema."
Cuarón was born in Mexico City, and is the son of Alfredo Cuarón, a nuclear physicist who worked for the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency for many years. He has two brothers, Carlos, also a filmmaker, and Alfredo, a conservation biologist.
Cuarón studied philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and filmmaking at CUEC (Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos), a school within the same university. There, he met the director Carlos Marcovich and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, and they made what would be his first short film, Vengeance Is Mine.
Cuarón began working in television in Mexico, first as a technician and then as a director. His television work led to assignments as an assistant director for several Latin American film productions including Gaby: A True Story and Romero, and in 1991, he landed his first big-screen directorial assignment.
Sólo con tu pareja
Sólo con tu pareja was a sex comedy about a womanizing businessman (played by Daniel Giménez Cacho) who, after having sex with an attractive nurse, is fooled into believing he's contracted AIDS. In addition to writing, producing and directing, Cuarón co-edited the film with Luis Patlán. It is somewhat unusual for directors to be credited co-editors, although the Coen Brothers and Robert Rodriguez have both directed and edited nearly all of their films. Cuarón continued this close involvement in editing on several of his later films.
The film, which also starred cabaret singer Astrid Hadad and model/actress Claudia Ramírez (with whom Cuarón was linked between 1989 and 1993), was a big hit in Mexico. After this success, director Sydney Pollack hired Cuarón to direct an episode of Fallen Angels, a series of neo-noir stories produced for the Showtime premium cable network in 1993; other directors who worked on the series included Steven Soderbergh, Jonathan Kaplan, Peter Bogdanovich and Tom Hanks.
In 1995, Cuarón released his first feature film produced in the United States, A Little Princess, an adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic novel. Cuarón's next feature was also a literary adaptation, a modernized version of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations starring Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert De Niro.
Cuarón's next project found him returning to Mexico with a Spanish-speaking cast to film Y Tu Mamá También, starring Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and Maribel Verdú. It was a provocative and controversial road comedy about two sexually obsessed teenagers who take an extended road trip with an attractive married woman that is much older than them. The film's open portrayal of sexuality and frequent rude humor, as well as the politically and socially relevant asides, made the film an international hit and a major success with critics. Cuarón shared an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay with co-writer and brother Carlos Cuarón.
In 2004, Cuarón directed the third film in the successful Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Cuarón faced criticism from some of the more purist Harry Potter fans for his approach to the film. At the time of the movie's release, however, author J. K. Rowling, who had seen and loved Cuarón's film Y Tu Mamá También, said that it was her personal favorite from the series so far. Critically, the film was also better received than the first two installments, with some critics remarking its new tone and for being the first Harry Potter film to truly capture the essence of the novels. It remained as the most critically acclaimed film of the Harry Potter film franchise.
Cuarón's feature Children of Men, an adaptation of the P. D. James novel starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine, received wide critical acclaim, including three Academy Award nominations. Cuarón himself received two nominations for his work on the film in Best Film Editing (with Alex Rodríguez) and Best Adapted Screenplay (with several collaborators).
He created the production and distribution company Esperanto Filmoj (Esperanto Films, named because of his support for the international language Esperanto), which has credits in the films Duck Season, Pan's Labyrinth, and Gravity.
In 2010, Cuarón began to develop the film Gravity, a drama set in space. He was joined by producer David Heyman, with whom Cuarón worked on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the film was released in the fall of 2013 and opened the 70th Venice International Film Festival in August. On January 12, 2014, Alfonso accepted the Golden Globe Award in the category of Best Director. The film received ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Directing. Cuarón won for Best Directing, becoming the first Latin American to win the award, while he and Mark Sanger shared the award for Best Film Editing.
In 2013, Cuarón created Believe, a science fiction/fantasy/adventure series that was broadcast as part of the 2013–14 United States network television schedule on NBC as a mid-season entry. The series was created by Cuarón for Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television. In 2014, TIME placed him in its list of "100 Most Influential People in the World" – Pioneers.
On September 8, 2016, it was announced that he would be writing and directing a project focusing on a Mexican family living in Mexico City in the 1970s. Production is set to begin in fall 2016. The project will be produced by Cuarón, Gabriela Rodríguez and Nicolás Celis. On November 3, 2016, it was revealed that the crew was robbed on set during filming.
Cuarón is a vegetarian and has been living in London since 2000. He was 20 when his girlfriend at the time became pregnant with Jonás. He was married to Italian actress and freelance journalist Annalisa Bugliani from 2001 to 2008. They have two children: daughter Tess Bu Cuarón (born 2003) and son Olmo Teodoro Cuarón (born 2005).
|Director||Writer||Producer||Editor||Assistant director||Associate producer|
|1986||Les Pyramides Bleues||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|1991||Sólo con tu pareja||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|1995||A Little Princess||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|2001||Y Tu Mamá También||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|2004||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|The Assassination of Richard Nixon||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|2006||Children of Men||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|2007||Year of the Nail||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|2008||Rudo y Cursi||No||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Aningaaq (Gravity spin-off short)||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
- Who's He Anyway (1983)
- Vengeance Is Mine (1983) Co-director
- Cuarteto para el fin del tiempo (1983)
- Paris, je t'aime (2006) (segment "Parc Monceau")
- The Shock Doctrine (2007)
- La Hora Marcada (1986) (episodes "Ángel Pérez", "El taxi", "Zangamanga", "No estoy jugando" and "A veces regresa")
- Fallen Angels (1993) (episode "Murder, Obliquely")
- Believe (2014)
Awards and nominations
- Pulver, Andrew (March 2, 2014). "Alfonso Cuarón wins best director Oscar" – via The Guardian.
- "Three amigos change face of Mexican film".
- J.K. Rowling Archived February 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed January 17, 2007.
- "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban".
- Interview by Sam Green with Cuarón.
- Asansouthwestohio (September 23, 2009). "Autistic Self Advocacy Network, SW Ohio: Autistic Community Condemns Autism Speaks".
- "Movie News: Movie Reviews, Trailers, Photos - EW.com".
- Venice Film Festival 2013: Sandra Bullock stuns in a scarlet dress with George Clooney | Mail Online. Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved on 2014-05-22.
- "The 100 Most Influential People – Pioneers: Alfonso Cuarón". TIME.com. April 23, 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-26.
- "Director Alfonso Cuarón President of the International Jury for the Venezia 72 Competition". Venice Biennale. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- Kroll, Justin (September 8, 2016). "Alfonso Cuaron Sets Mexican Family Drama as Next Film". Variety.
- "Alfonso Cuarón film crew 'attacked and robbed' in Mexico City".
- Dan P. Lee (22 September 2013). "The Camera's Cusp: Alfonso Cuarón Takes Filmmaking to a New Extreme With Gravity". Vulture.com. London, United Kingdom: New York. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Vogue Arts – Down to Earth". Loquet London. 12 December 2013. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- Baftas 2014: Alfonso Cuarón wins best director for Gravity | Film. theguardian.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-22.
- "'This Changes Everything' Trailer: Climate Change Docu Based On Naomi Klein's Bestseller Set For Toronto Premiere". Deadline.com. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
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